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Friday, November 5, 2010

For Such A Time As This

Thirty Days of Gratitude Challenge ~ Day #5

When it comes to things I am most thankful for, growing up in small town America has to be close to the top of the list.

From reading the different blogs participating in the Thirty Days of Gratitude Challenge, I know I am probably the oldest blogger taking part. So, let me tell you a little about life in rural America during my early years.

First, my sister and I were the only “girls” for about a 5 block area. We were also the only girl cousins, among nine boy cousins. Needless to say, we spent more time playing football, cowboy & Indians, cops & robbers, and climbing trees than we ever spent staying in the house playing with dolls. I can remember crying for a football for Christmas, because my cousins had one and I didn’t.

I still have my share of scars from falling out of those trees, off the roof of the church on the corner (we were playing hide & seek), and from wrecking both bicycles and motor cycles.

I remember playing outside until way after dark, catching lighting bugs (fire flies) and backyard gatherings of sharing watermelon or homemade ice cream with all the neighbors. Those same neighbor ladies would spank you like you belonged to them if they caught you doing something wrong….just like they would their own child. They would also invite you in for hot out of the oven cookies; they were our Sunday School teachers and our subs at school.

At twelve, I was allowed to walk the 14 blocks to town to go to the movies with friends on Saturday afternoons. Saturday mornings, after helping clean house, were spent scouring the alleys for pop bottles to cash in for the monies we would use at the show! Growing up was both fun and adventure!

We were blessed!

We worked at providing much of the same environment for our own children; however, to attain the same “security” while allowing our children to find their independence, included moving to the country.

In the rural areas kids could still run free. They could play in the creek, learn to drive in the pasture, and have all their friends over on the weekends. Just as we had picked up pop bottles to finance our trips to the movies, our children and their friends learned the fine art of “scrapping”. They made more money then we had, but the cost of movies had gone up considerably, too. They raised animals and rode ATV’s. Our two that are still home, plus all the grandkids (okay, not the two newest), are still keeping the pasture roads hot and still raising animals, it is a way of life. And our place, like our neighborhood once was, is still the place where kids hangout and play on weekends and lazy summer days.

Fishing at the pond.

For years, I wished I had been born a century earlier, for I cherish the simple life. I spent several weeks each year with my great aunt and uncle on their farm, where the bathroom wasn’t “down the hall”, but twenty yards or so away from the backdoor. I learned to love all things country and hated seeing that lifestyle slip farther and farther away. That’s why my husband and I work so hard and providing the same type of lifestyle even now.

In the last few years though, I have learned to appreciate the time we are now living in. It is probably the most exciting time in man’s history, from a Biblical point of view.

Having at one time thinking how awesome it would be to “talk” with Sarah as she and Abraham traveled, leaving home and family, to follow God or to have seen the parting of the Red Sea, I realize we may be the generation that witnesses the Second Coming! Biblical people of old will want to talk to us; “Did you see HIM coming, when HE split the eastern sky? Was it glorious?”

I’ve learned rather than to dream about the past, to embrace the future. And all the technology, whether I view it as good or bad, is just steadily moving us in that direction. While I don’t enjoy all things, I do enjoy some and now see them as “gifts” to our generation. Each day, I get to share in the lives of so many families around the world, thanks to the internet. I often wish we could get together and actually share homemade ice cream down by the creek and visit until the wee hours of the night. But one day we will get to do just that!

So today, I am thankful for the time God has placed me in…..for this generation, where I get to explore the world, not like Abraham and Sarah, or even Lewis and Clark, but each day I have the opportunity to find new things and meet new people!

We are a blessed generation!

“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

Be sure and click on the Thirty Days of Gratitude button at the top to see more Gratitude posts…..or join in. There are still 25 days of gratitude left!


P.S. I promise tomorrow's will be short! I've got a craft show to do.;)


  1. Thanks for a glimpse of your heart today! Have a wonderful day! HUGS!!

  2. I grew up in very rural town too, and Mom and Dad still live there. I take the kids there for at least two weeks every summer so they can experience being able to play outside without my supervision, catch toads and fireflys, pick produce from a real garden and snap beans. That's my son's favorite part! He gets up every morning to help papaw with the beans or blackberries or whatever! I love your story!

  3. A beautiful post. I love living in rural America for all those reasons and more!

  4. I really enjoyed this post Cheryl.
    And, I echo your sentiments of longing for simplicity and at times, thinking that is a thing of the past...I too, am learning that it can indeed be found TODAY, and that the time God has chosen for us to "be" is perfect in His plan.
    Sounds like we both "held our own" with the boys in our youth...I have five brothers and did my share of wiffle ball, street hockey, and building forts in the woods!
    Thanks for sharing this glimpse of your blessed life.

  5. I loved reading about your youth. I also ran free through the country. There were orchards, and ponds for catching frogs in the summer and ice skating in the winter. I played with wildlife, climbed trees, got stitches, rode my bike everywhere and played ball better than the boys. You've made me so nostalgic. Thank you.

  6. I crave simpler times too. I grew up in Florida, and at one time, lived in a very rural area of central Fla. where we had chickens, ducks and a horse, and a garden. We never watched TV--so far out in the country we lived, we couldn't get good reception. Long before the days of Cable TV or Direct TV! It was a simpler life and I loved it.
    Swimming holes and wild blackberries, country roads and tree houses...things of long ago for me.
    These days have their blessings tho too, and are there for the finding! Which is why we love the mountains!


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